When It Comes To Nutrition, Mamta Matters
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This is the story of Mamta Devi who lives in a village in Barmer district. She is 25 years old. Mamta is constantly worried about her 3-year-old son because of his frequent illness. Her son was dull and weak as well. Mamta says, “When I see other children, I feel sorry for my son as he is not as fit and active as others. He always remains dull and doesn’t play with other children.” Mamta was clueless about why her son was dull or fell ill often.
She was also anxious about her current pregnancy, as she did not want the same fate for her second child. She wished for a healthy and active child. To make matters worse for her, COVID-19 started spreading rapidly in the district and made inroads in her village too. She was anxious beyond words for the safety of her elder son and the unborn child.
She would ponder on how safe her delivery would be and how she would be able to safeguard her child from this pandemic. Amidst all this uncertainty, Mamta was added to a WhatsApp group of Village Health Sanitation and Nutrition Committee (VHSNC) members created by MAMTA Sanstha during April. She was 6 months pregnant with her second child then. On that WhatsApp group, she started receiving accurate information through videos, FAQs and
presentations on COVID- 19 infection, precautions and dispelled the myths around the disease.
She says that she breathed a sigh of relief on being connected through the WhatsApp group. Besides, she was informed about precautions during the third trimester of pregnancy, eating a nutritious diet, taking rest, birth preparedness etc. She was also emphasized to feed colostrum to the newborn, as she was not aware of the effectiveness of the mother’s first milk, which works as the first vaccine for the baby.
She feels indebted to MAMTA team for providing her with critical information and extending help during the period of pregnancy and post-pregnancy. She especially extends her gratitude for reiterating via phone call just before her delivery to feed colostrum to the newborn. In addition, she is now informed and determined to exclusively breastfeed her second child until 6 months, which was not followed for her older baby. She mentions, “MAMTA Team shares important information in this group which has provided me with precise knowledge on different issues, my health and my child’s health”. Reflecting on the information that she now has; she wishes that she had come across MAMTA Sansthan earlier as during her previous pregnancy she was unaware of significant practices that resulted in the poor health of her elder child.
In July, she delivered a baby boy , with a birthweight of 2.9 Kg, at the Government hospital of Siwana block and she shared with us that she initiated breastfeeding within the first hour of the delivery and this time she hasn’t allowed her family to give any ‘Ghutti-prelacteal’ to the baby.
Now, she is well informed about Tiranga Bhojan, which includes grains, pulses, legumes, oilseeds, nuts, ghee/butter, edible oil, green leafy vegetables, yellow & orange-colored fruits, milk products etc. for herself as well as for her elder child. Moreover, she understands the value of supplementary nutrition, infant and young child feeding practices, immunization, hunger signs of the child, responsive and age appropriate feeding, steps of growth in a child, IFA supplementation etc. as MAMTA Team is constantly communicating information and sharing IEC material through WhatsApp group – video/ audio/ text messages.
MAMTA -the organization and Mamta -the mother are both happy today, one to have been the guide and the other to have been able to deliver a healthy baby with the right start.
(courtesy: MAMTA Health Institute for Mother and Child)